USC football players, civil rights activists and family members of suspended receiver Munir McClain will call Sunday for his reinstatement.
McClain and his older brother Abdul-Malik, a Trojan linebacker, will speak at the early afternoon news conference outside Galen Center, civil rights activist Najee Ali told City News Service.
McClain was suspended from the team on Sept. 18, two days after Michael Blanton, the university’s vice president of ethics and professionalism, questioned the sophomore about what he knew about unemployment benefits, the Los Angeles Times reported.
McClain applied for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program after the income he earned reselling high-end sneakers, which sometimes yielded up to $1,000 a pair, had slowed during the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Times.
McClain’s claim was accepted by the state and he planned to use the money to help finance an apparel brand he started with his siblings, BeenFree, The Times reported.
Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General have sought to question McClain, who made three catches in five games in 2019 before suffering a knee injury, according to The Times.
“Munir along with his mother Shan have both stated he has done nothing illegal to warrant a suspension,” Ali said.
“McClain has also not been given due process by the USC Athletic Department officials. University officials have also ignored and not even had the courtesy to respond to a meeting request that was submitted two weeks ago by Shan McClain … and myself.”
USC is “cooperating with the authorities,” according to a university statement.
“We understand there may be many questions and concerns, but we are unable to discuss this matter because of our obligation to protect students’ privacy,” the statement said.
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